George E. Brunner


George Edward Brunner, born on January 12, 1896, in Newark, New Jersey, was a prominent American Democratic Party politician known for his extensive service as the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, spanning from 1936 to 1959.

Brunner’s roots trace back to Newark, where his parents, Eugene and Bertha (Zehnder) Brunner, both originally from Switzerland, raised him. He received his education in parochial schools in West New York and later embarked on a career in the plumbing and heating trade, working as an apprentice and journeyman. Eventually, Brunner settled in Camden.

In 1931, Brunner delved into Democratic politics in Camden, marking the beginning of his political journey. He secured a position on the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, serving until 1935. His political ascent continued as he was elected to the Camden City Board of Commissioners in 1935, becoming the Mayor of Camden that same year. This victory was achieved through a coalition that successfully defeated the Republican organization led by the previous mayor, Frederick Von Nieda.

George Edward Brunner played a crucial role in consolidating Democratic influence not only in the city of Camden but also in its surrounding county. He went on to serve an impressive six four-year terms as mayor until his political organization lost control of the city government in 1959. This defeat came at the hands of Alfred R. Pierce and his “Save Our City” ticket, garnering support from the Hispanic community.

Brunner’s impact extended beyond Camden, making him a prominent figure in statewide politics. He ran for the United States Senate in 1946 against H. Alexander Smith and served as the chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee from 1954 to 1961. Throughout his career, Brunner actively supported and contributed to the political careers of influential figures such as Governors Robert B. Meyner and Richard J. Hughes, as well as Senator Harrison A. Williams and New Jersey Attorney General William F. Hyland.

George Edward Brunner passed away at the age of 79 in 1975 at his residence in Haddon Township. His legacy endures as a testament to his significant contributions to New Jersey politics and the city of Camden.


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